The Key to Developing a Great Leadership Style (Don't Just Imitate Mark Cuban)

Teaching college students about leadership is a muddled, mangled mess. There are so many theories and types of leadership from decades of examination and research–it’s an endless, but extremely important, business aspect of discussion and application.

We examine many of the styles out there, such as “level five” leadership, servant leadership, transactional versus transformational leadership, authentic leadership, charismatic leadership, and blah, blah, blah.

But one leadership concept keeps coming back to me. One theory seems to click with me.  This one way seems strategic to me. 

It’s not about emulating Elon Musk and Steve Jobs or hoping to be like Mark Cuban. It’s about strategy, and to me strategic thinking always starts with: a situational analysis. What is the situation, and based on that, how do we proceed?

Situational leadership theory

Paul Hersey and Ken Blanchard developed the “situational leadership theory” with one thought in mind: No single leadership style is best in every situation. Leadership is contingent upon the situation.

It’s a simple and very important notion. You should analyze your situation, such as the tasks that need accomplished, and the competence and the maturity of the group you are to lead, and implement a leadership style based on these factors.

Situational leadership identifies four situations with matching styles. Thus, a leader can strategically, with analysis and foresight, develop a proper style for the situation in which they are leading.

The four situations, and the style for each

This theory and the following four styles look at the readiness of the followers and recommends a leader’s focus on task needs, people needs, or a combination of task and people needs.

  1. Telling Style–for low readiness followers. If the situation you are in has followers who are inexperienced, unready for tasks, have low ability or are untrained, and lack confidence, use this telling style. This telling leadership style calls for a high focus on tasks for the followers by the leader, without a high need for socio-emotional support. 

  2. Selling Style–for moderate readiness followers. In this situation the followers are somewhat ready because of a confidence to proceed, but they lack ability. The leader needs a selling style of leadership here, with a high focus on task to instill the ability in the followers, along with a high focus on people’s needs– which would help boost confidence further and help enculturation for the followers.
  3. Participating Style–for high readiness followers. In this contingency the followers are ready and capable for the task at hand, but the leader would love to get them to participate more; thus the leader style should be participating. The leader should have a high focus on people, relationships, and transformation, with less need for task.
  4. Delegating Style–for very high readiness followers. This situation is for true and total delegation.  Followers are task superior and the leader’s people focus is strong, with solid interpersonal relationships–most everyone is well trained, adept at capabilities, and full nurturing and social-emotional support is in place. The leader can now delegate completely, with confidence and trust.

It makes perfect sense to me. Custom-fit your leadership style to your situation. Certainly we do not conduct business in an off-the-rack world. 

Many examples of situational leadership have been seen over the years, from 3M and Apple to General Patton and President (General) Eisenhower to legendary basketball coaches Pat Summit and John Wooden. 

So, admire Jobs. Find some tips from Mark Cuban to help you. Even emulate Elon Musk to a point. But always thoroughly consider your situation when you lead.

And just in case you’re still confused, here’s a video explaining the whole thing. Enjoy:


Build electronics projects great and small with the SainSmart UNO for Arduino, for under $55

Understanding how electronics actually work can be pretty confusing. Often, inquisitive students succeed or fail in creating small electronic projects by simple trial and error. Thankfully, you can offer some structure to your pursuit of electronics knowledge with the SainSmart UNO for Arduino microcontroller board. It’s on sale right now for only $ 53.99 (19 percent off) from TNW Deals. This powerful board is the “sandbox” for inventive tinkerers to create their own electronics projects — then bring them to life. Powered by the open-source versatility and extensive library of Arduino, you can use the SainSmart UNO to build handfuls of simple electronic…

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CIOs: Shadow IT Is Actually Great for Your Cloud Strategy

In a survey, cloud security broker vendor CipherCloud found that 86 percent of cloud applications used at workplaces are unsanctioned. That’s a pretty big percentage. Obviously, the security vendors have an incentive to raise such fears about shadow IT, so take this claim with much salt. However, the issue merits attention.

I don’t see shadow IT as that big of deal. Moreover, I believe that CIOs can embrace, rather than fight, the rise of shadow IT for their own benefit. How?

There are three benefits to the CIO from departments’ shadow cloud use.

To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Network World Cloud Computing

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Explore the great outdoors during free Mercury Mile walk series at Althouse …

Organizations interested in hosting the walk should email Michilea Patterson at [email protected] or call 610-850-0282 to schedule a time. To find each week’s location, visit the Fit for Life website and like the

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What’s so great about cloud computing and why should you invest in companies using this technology?

cloud computing
by Carlos de Miguel

Question by Hip Hop Hero: What’s so great about cloud computing and why should you invest in companies using this technology?
I heard it’s good to store things so that businesses can have their employees able to work on the go (mobile).

Best answer:

Answer by Harley Drive
it’s all hype, trusting your data to a company that may not even exist next week is madness , any company can set up a private network using the internet, any outage and you lose everything and how can you trust a company that may also store your rival’s data?

Give your answer to this question below!

Had a dream involving me falling into water with a great white shark?

Question by Vincent Van Gogh: Had a dream involving me falling into water with a great white shark?
anyone know what this means…

I was on a pontoon (you know those platforms which are ontop of water where people park their boats) anyway it was a grey dark day with storm clouds. There was a great white shark in the water… as I was walking on the pontoon it suddenly rocked straight up and down – in the background I could hear an old coworker of mine saying “BE CAREFUL MATE – GET BACK ON” but it was too much he kept yelling my name and I fell in the water with the great white shark 🙁

then I woke up… why exactly did I have this dream?

Best answer:

Answer by Beanie
The Interpretation of dreams that involve sharks usually mean that in some you way feel threatened or victimized.

Give your answer to this question below!